Obviously, any recruit needs to like the school he's committing to, and Anthony Brown sounds fully smitten with Stanford. But the first sentence states it clearly: Brown committed to Stanford first and foremost because of Johnny Dawkins.
"He started early," Brown relates. "He started recruiting me my sophomore year, so we developed a really long relationship."
Indeed, Brown says that relationship became so strong that Dawkins was actually as happy for Brown, who he believed made the right decision, as he was for himself and the program, when Brown called to commit.
"I could feel that he was very excited, and also relieved more so that I made the decision that he felt – that he really felt – was the best place for me," Brown said of his future coach. "He was excited because he wanted to start it off with two commits and now he wants to keep it rolling."
Brown says he found himself more drawn to the experiences of Dawkins, a former star player at Duke, a top academic college, and longtime assistant for the Blue Devils, than he did UCLA's Ben Howland or Cal's Mike Montgomery, the longtime former Stanford head coach.
"It's where came from, at Duke, and all his experience with different players," Brown said. "He knows how to relate. He felt like a player's coach, someone I could go to talk about anything beyond basketball."
Still, Brown has only positive things to say about the two programs – and the two coaches – he had to turn down.
"They both were hard to say no to," he said. "They took it professionally. They didn't ask why, and they said we'll look forward to watching you in the future."
As we hinted at in the teaser, there are some mighty important recruits about to decide whether or not to attend Stanford. One such prospect undoubtedly high on fans' radar is Dwight Powell, from Florida's IMG Academy. Good news, Stanford fans: He's just as high on the radars of Brown and fellow 2010 commit Aaron Bright.
"We've been doing some recruiting," Brown said. "We're working on it. We'll see what happens with Dwight. We've definitely been putting in some good words, Aaron Bright and I.
"The coaches said he wanted us to introduce ourselves and so we did. They haven't told us that about anyone else, so basically, we'll do what they ask."
Nonetheless, there's plenty of preparation for next year that doesn't involve a cell phone, and Brown's certainly not shying away from that either. (Indeed, Brown is seemingly always coming from a practice, workout or team event whenever this reporter calls.)
"I'm working on my strength for the next level," Brown said. "I'm trying to get adjusted to the speed a little. Obviously, I have to play college players more and work on my D. At any college, you're going to have to guard your man in order to get on the floor."
Brown works on his strength and conditioning with his school trainer, adding that he is focusing especially on plyometrics and weightlifting.
Now more than ever, stay tuned to The Bootleg, as Stanford hopes these next few weeks are mighty busy ones when it comes to basketball recruiting.
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